122 HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION edict enjoining that, since learning in Italy, " through the care- lessness and laziness of certain princes, is everywhere extinct." central schools should be established in nine cities for the scholars of the surrounding districts. The recommendation of the Council under Pope Eugenius a year later, to which reference has already been made, that grammar schools should be established every- where by the bishops, was simply a generalization of Lothaire's edict. In 829 the bishops of Gaul petitioned Charles's son, Lewis the Pious, asking him to carry out the instructions of this Council. " We earnestly and humbly petition your Highness," they said, " that following the example of your father you will cause public schools to be established in at least three fitting places in your realm, so that the labour of your father and yourself may not utterly perish through neglect. So shall great benefit and honour abound to God's holy church, and to you a great reward and ever- lasting remembrance."* In spite of increasing difficulties within and without the Empire, the educational tradition created by Charles was continued by Lewis's son, Charles the Bald, whose character and interests were similar in many ways to those of his illustrious grandfather. In the words of a contemporary, he was " the stay of schools and studies in well nigh every land " ; and great numbers of learned Irishmen flocked to his court. " Nearly all learned Ireland," says the same scholar, " disdaining the perils of the sea, had sought a voluntary exile, to gratify the wishes of one who was a Solomon in wisdom."f Under his protection, the great Irish scholar John Scotus Erigena, the forerunner of the scholastic movement which dominated the Middle Ages, taught as master of the Palace School with a frankness of utterance which would not have been tolerated anywhere outside the court of a broad-minded monarch. The influence of Charles the Great on English education in the Ninth Century was specially marked. At the beginning of the century we find Offa, King of Mercia, the most powerful of the English kings, writing to Alcuin, begging him to send over one of his pupils as a teacher for his subjects. Alcuin in agreeing to do so took the opportunity to compliment him on the zeal which made " the light of learning though extinguished in many places " shine brightly in his dominions. Even greater was the effect of * Poolej History of Medieval Thought, p. 34. f Quoted by Mullinger, The Schools of Charles the Great, pp. 173-174.